Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stuck Inside the Gloom

Last week, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. Actually, I think I had been working up to it for several weeks. I have been tired. I have not felt like cooking or working in the garden. I have not wanted to read anything for pleasure and I have not been writing—all activities that I usually enjoy. But last week, my sulkiness reached new heights.

I must reference the lyrics of John Mayer's song "Why Georgia" which keep rewinding in my head.

I am driving 85 in the
kind of morning that lasts all afternoon
just stuck inside the gloom.

Four more exits to my apartment but
I am tempted to keep the car in drive
and leave it all behind.

Now I am not implying that I was actually considering leaving it all behind, but I suppose with the right enticement I might consider it temporarily—a spa vacation, a trip to visit my best friend from college, watching the perfect romantic comedy, or even just a few hours to myself.

So, early last week I actually made the official pronouncement to family and friends. "I am stuck inside the gloom." My mood was largely precipitated by the fact that we had just made the difficult decision to discontinue one of David's therapies when he starts back to school in the fall. I know that it is probably the right decision, but it is very tempting to imagine the worst. What if David stops progressing? What if this particular therapy was the one thing that was helping him? How can I ever know what progress he would have made if we had continued the therapy? And, of course, the little tiny voice in the back of my head that asks, "Are you giving up on him?"

I could not imagine what would make me snap out of my sour mood and the answer came as a complete surprise. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and I was driving--although not 85, like John Mayer. In fact, I was stopped at a light on my way to take Andrew to golf lessons, then back home to pick up dip that I had made for a co-worker's birthday, then to drop David at therapy, then to work to drop off the dip and work for about an hour, then back to pick up David and then Andrew. And that was just the morning schedule. I was actually quite proud of myself that, on that particular day, I did not have to rely on my family to do any of the driving—a common occurrence with David's busy schedule. Well, a 16-year-old in a Suburban—which should be illegal, by the way, to allow 16-year-olds behind the wheel of a Suburban—totally oblivious to the red light, or my car, or the car in front of me, slammed into the back of my car, pushing me into the next car.

Apparently, I uttered an expletive, which Andrew later reported to my sister, who incidentally beat both the police officer and the county sheriff to the scene of the accident by careening down the shoulder of the road. My father arrived from the other direction almost simultaneously, also without the benefit of lights and sirens. They quickly whisked my boys to safety and my sister fed them assorted pastries. I lost count after Burger King CiniMinis and Panera Muffies, but did take note that each boy got his favorite breakfast.

We were all scared and shaken, but unhurt, thanks to our seatbelts. Ironically, David had insisted on buckling both of his favorite frog stuffed animals into the car that morning, so they were unscathed as well. My parents made all the calls to cancel the morning schedule, my sister kept the boys and my niece did the afternoon running--so much for giving my family the day off. I went home to spend the rest of the morning calling insurance companies. I sipped a mocha, had a good cry and ate leftover Chinese food for lunch, all in my extremely quiet house. I then proceeded to spend the afternoon lounging on the sofa, snoozing and watching home improvement shows on HGTV. I guess it took more than two tons of twisted metal to knock me out of my gloom. It may not have been a spa vacation, but I did get my few hours to myself.

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